DEMO 08 Palm Desert

Friday, February 1, 2008 

Capsule summaries of the companies presenting at DEMO 08 in Palm Desert. 76 reviews continue past the break (click to expand):

800PBX – Web to voice, get your mail over the phone. Voice to text and back. Kind of cool. I can imagine this getting some traction as an optional feature for existing systems that have some other reason for existing, but it is a bit like bringing the most irritating features of IVR systems to those systems that have blissfully escaped IVR.
Acesis – medical point of care data capture system. Developed with Flex 3 and Adobe Air. Medical is a good tablet application, but tablets have taken off like rockets… Has a useful vocabulary structure system for medical taxonomy.
Asankya – video delivery via multiple streaming paths – “parallel networking” at the transport protocol layer. Optimizes both upstream and downstream traffic like bittorrent does. Incutel is using it for something, probably for avoiding firewalls or possibly breaking traffic over multiple paths to minimize information bleed.
Aternity – Automatic detection of metrics such as machine metrics and user monitoring data (like keystroke monitoring). It creates operational baselines and automatically detects and flags deviations from the baseline. Nice graphs. Integrates with trouble ticket tools etc. – pseudo social network attempting to have some feature like secondlife (for-purchase avatars and graphic accessories) but overlaid on a real (Google) map. It also adds geographically linked pictures (using GPS), geographically linked posts, etc… Big in Taiwan, looking for money in the US.
Avistar – video unified communications: presence engine, chat engine, video collaboration, conference calling, multi-party video. Dynamic bandwidth management. Managing bandwidth at the application level is somewhat interesting – seems a bit like bit torrent/emule etc.
BitGravity – A video specific CDN that powered DEMO 08.
Blist – simplified database system. Rich column types. Good view tools. Insert tables into cells. Web-based too. Pretty cool. I’d use it if it was an open source PHP application.
Buzka – structured presentation of bookmarks with organization either of your own or of the “community” in aggregate. Right now the structure is about travel. It will be available white-label for companies to build community.
Capzles – Timeline based visual media. A presentation mode tool and “gallery2” (the free, open source PHP gallery application) feature set.
Catylist web services – calendar, email, collaboration basic productivity for small businesses. Similar to Outlook with shared folders etc. and an on-line document store. Seems to support office apps. Free for a gig of stored data. Fee plans begin at 10 gig.
Cellspinsoft – Mobile cross posting tools run on windows mobile devices. A mobile vlogging tool to the usual suspects in UGC space. Not quite as cool as wordpress with postie (what, with a name like “postie,” how can you beat that?) It allows you to post video to eBay, which is cute but I’m not sure why.
Celsias – a blog and “projects” database. Kind of an effort to be sourceforge for green/cleantech projects.
Chalex Group – collaboration tool and content management system using a central on-line server from GT-serve. Asset control and management and workflow. – search context derived from social network and reviews and blogs with semantically relevant results from machine understanding of textual meaning. Plus results grading based on full-text analysis.
Citiport – Social network for travelers with recommendations. Yelp meets doplr. Interesting and possibly worth checking out, but quality of data seems problematic. Not sure yet why it is better than Yelp. Has a graphical trip planner tool which is kind of cool. Doesn’t seem to have some of the export to mobile/import from mobile tools that’d be useful given the data, but that is future potential. – A fairly clever markup application for visual content. Images, PDF, and Video can be shared, simultaneously viewed and marked up as needed.
delver/semingo – social network search tool. Search term is applied across multiple social networks to create a meta-profile as a result of the search and from which to aggregate results ranked by social network indicated relevance.
Ecrio Mobeam – it is a carry around device like an iPod. 2x1x0.5 inches… it carries the database of bar codes. They say 300 billion coupons are printed every year, why not carry a digital coupon catalog and save some trees. – Great domain name, basically search optimization for school related search terms plus yelp.
Eyealike – Specialized in detecting features in content – faces etc – as well as matching copy written material. The feature they show is a tool that does a media comparison and finds matches between test and copyright material using various algorithms.
Fabrik – Joggle product – Bad demo: what they were showing is a file sharing concept that attempts to aggregate media for people who don’t have their stuff in one place. Runs on Adobe Air, which is itself interesting. Fabrik owns my favorite external drive company: G-Tech.
Flypaper – Graphical flash programming/page layout tool with nice web links for live content sourcing from the web and live publishing. It is free.
Goldmail – combine visuals with voiceovers. Yet another irritating effort to convert useful text-only email to horribly intrusive video misery so your spam can be even more hated.  But for the people who want high-impact marketing email, this is a good tool.
Good2gether – non-profit tracking and monitoring and social networking tool for worthy causes.
Greenplug – “one plug, one planet” DC distribution hubs for powering things. Of course USB does this too – that and the Kensington power supply I carry that runs on any AC or DC voltage and provides up to 120 Watts to my laptop. Requires that companies install their chip. One planet, one parking lot.
healthpricer – Basically comparison shopping for health products. There’s some clean up of data based on internal knowledge of the SKUs as a focused vertical for medical retail products
Hubdub – A competitive site that tracks your skill at making predictions compared to other prognosticators. You can create a question using a structured format, people make forecasts (answer the question), and when the real results are known, the “winners” are rewarded. – workspace tools that fit in facebook for reasons that escape me. There is also an outside facebook version with more features. Extracts social network data to build the collaboration environment. Open API for building collaboration tools on the architecture.
Itarasi – a page saver/bookmarking tool, advertising driven. In effect a shared web 2.0 graphical bookmark tool.
iVideotunes – A movie based music training system. Learn to play. They brought John Oats in as their booth babe, and he is looking surprisingly young.
Jodange – Sentiment analyses – semantic analysis of social discussion on a topic to estimate positive/negative response and trends. Seems like a cool feature.
Kaazing – 1 to many message brokering over HTTP and bidirectional communication without plugins. Seems to involve a modified protocol, but may not. Claim it works with standard browsers and reduces traffic load at the source for 1 to many distribution.
Konolive – collaboration tool. real-time collaboration in generic applications using an application running in the background, seems to be attached as meta information. Works with office suite, video, with acrobat, with HTML.
Legitime – Legitext, an SMS contact manager type thing that lets you group and prioritize contact sets and has a slightly different UI to some of the basic SMS features in most phones.
Liquid Planner – SASSY MS Project. Clever idea – it has tolerance as a core concept in the completion timing and tolerance is always a virtue. Has documentation management and team management. Good alternatives to Project are scarce.
LiquidTalk – audio distribution tool. Not particularly compelling.
liquidus – generates video ads that extract information from various sites and create video that goes to cable (move web data to cable consumers as a functional ad format). Has management tools and ad generation tools.
Livescribe – pretty cool live pen for people who still like to write with a pen rather than using a keyboard because they never took typing in school or they’re old and didn’t grow up with a keyboard. Syncs live audio, which is cool, so the ambient audio is recorded on the pen and time-synced to your notes. It also has some translation tools built in which are pretty impressive. The paper is printed with microdots so the pen can find where it is.
Mandiant – hardware based security incident tracking. It captures data streams to disk in an appliance and looks for suspicious activity and stores the network stream for ex post facto forensic analysis. Can search network wide.
MOLI – Social network privacy controls. Some traffic analysis tools. Have multiple personalities on several sites and keep your boss from seeing your weekend binge pictures.
Movial – Six year old company working on IP communications and integrating video/”social media” (video with comments) with mobile endpoints. They support video, voice chat, sms, desktop/mobile video chat integration.  The features they showed seemed to be built into the most advanced recent phones.
nirvanix – “cloud storage” the idea being that your data is more on the extranet than intranet. 256GB file upload, a couple of exabytes on their network, backhaul via Tier 1 MPLS between nodes, distributed worldwide (- media transcoding). [ is a sample application that runs on Nirvanix and also runs inside facebook. – 1GB for free]
NotchUp, Inc. – Pretty funny. How much money would it take to get you to jump… I’ve gotten two invites to this in the last week. A recruiter gets 30% of first year’s salary! holy crap – that’s about 50 interviews at their suggested rate of $500 per interview. Over the last 8 days subscribers went from 400 to 50,000. – CEO Josh Rosen has two demo companies this year. iLeonardo – subscribe to notebooks and the results get pushed to you. Creating notebooks is fairly easy – in effect a bookmarks with meta-tags and graphics linked to it.
Pathworks Software Corp – an outsource customer service provider. A free SASSy on-line support tool.
Redux – dating site. A socially aware dating network. Singular value decomposition to estimate relevancy between the data available on various social networks. Google page-rank for people. It also does event discovery by relevancy. Group friends get event listings using least common denominator (so everyone is happy). Function is a bit more manual than implied in the demo: one rates other people’s comments, reviews, etc. using a Netflix-like star system and answer pop-up questions designed to gather information about the user.
Review2Buy – 738439 “REVIEW” short code. Send SMS with UPC and location and you get an answer: user review (e.g. Amazon) and best on-line pricing. It leverages existing review sites rather than developing yet another review community. Also provides local store prices and phone numbers to call and online comparison. Good mobile integration.
Ribbit – “Answer your mobile phone on the web.” Full messages on an interface page to voicemail. Pulls feeds live about the person using caller-ID. That’s scary. Interesting mega-integration, but perhaps a bit too much. CallerID is spoofed to your cell phone when you use the VoIP client.
Rove Mobile – Go To My PC from your phone. You need a smart phone (blackberry or windows mobile: iphone and nokia clients coming and a mac server too). Pretty fast and seems to work pretty well. Good integration with the controls of the smart phone.
Santrum networks – BloCafe it is supposed to be a dynamic blogging/BBS system with chat, voice, video. The main site hosts these “discussions.” Pretty funny presentation in the end as they held up some semi-incoherent monetary offer as cards like some late-night local auto-dealership ad.
SceneCaster – VRML 2.0. Performance is good. Kind of interesting 3D web application. Still very cool, but not very commercial.
Seesmic – direct “live” vlogging from various platforms. It does not seem like the difference between “live” and store and forward for something that is intrinsically store and download (not live watching) is small.
Silobreaker – kind of like a news feed but with every possible feature: trends analysis, social network extraction, geolocation and other features. It also supports topic filtering. Network view is a live dynamic representation of relevant terms extracted from the search which can be navigated graphically in real-time.
Skyfire – a phone proxy tool that requires an app on the phone. They gave bit of a stacked demonstration comparing it to other options which seemed more viable than presented, but skyfire seems to work fairly well. It is a potential small improvement over OEM browsers/Opera Mini that would be worth having. I’d load it on my phone if I was running windows mobile for some reason. Not sure I’d use it all the time – maybe – but definitely as a fall-back.
SpeakLike – Live chat translator. Hybrid machine/human translation tool which means it is self-learning in as much as it tracks translator intervention and is simultaneously multi-lingual. One can see in the chat window the full set of translated versions, which is sort of cool. I think the value here is in building a vetted and continuously current database of vernacular translations in real web speak: kewl.
Sprout – A fairly straightforward flash editor, looks a little nicer than flypaper from the 6 minute demo, a bit more flexible. Neither as advanced as adobe flash, but Sprout has some nice analytics tools because it is live.
squidcast – video sharing for consumers in HD and any size. It works like an extension of an email account (oddly, it is NOT a social network… for once). Neo-peer to peer network which makes use of some space of users for sharing like Freenet but without the strong encryption.
StackSafe, Inc. – automated testing of patches using a virtual copy of an operating environment offline. clever.
Standout jobs – A “social network” for job advertising. Is a generic “available jobs” page building tool, candidate management tool (web 2.0-ish) based on extracting profile information from social networks like LinkedIn.
Step Labs – Pretty amazing demonstration… the mics make the background noise disappear, which is pretty impressive. The demo went very well but the Bluetooth connections seem a bit crackly yet. Their algorithm works.
Sterna Technologies – An interesting graph and monitoring program for business data and data mining. – PC health check on-line with a fairly simple UI. It makes suggestions and then takes you to for a fee-based phone service/go-to-my-pc fix. If the computer is still running well enough to get the chat thing going. Formerly a Mark Pincus company.
Supportspace – community-based tech support marketplace. An experts exchange type pseudo social network to find people who will help you out. There is a lot of detail on the profile of the “expert”. The repair session is run through the web site so it can be monitored.
Symantec Corp – Block your kid’s chat friends who are too naughty. Reveals some key details of social network profiles of your kids. (Part of the Symantec family safety initiative.)
TAG – Leapfrog kids thing Look over your kids shoulder even when you’re doing something else. It has interesting IR tagging tool that seems to work very well. It requires IR printing technique but seems compatible with basic printing processes. The reader has to be cheap – and it seems to work well. I’d say the tag product is cool and has some potential applications beyond TAG. Quecat?
TimeDriver – A corporate scheduling application that seems to have value as a bridge between people on Google Calendar and people on Outlook. Busy-Free mutual extra-enterprise scheduling is a quickly evolving space and I’m not clear on the differentiation between this and WebDAV.
toktumi – half decent VoIP desktop PBX software. They manage the VOIP/POTS interface with a dial-in as a central service. Trying to be business line Skype for small businesses.
tubemogul – distribution and analytics for on-line video. Meta-upload to many known sites. Analytics tools to track use across sites and provide demographics, charts, and data. They think they have the only cross-site analytics tools for video (not). The team includes netratings founder.
Vidyo – Cisco licensed their video conferencing technology. Pretty impressive HD over general internet (and mega-advanced expensive networks are needed why?) Video router hardware is the key…Dynamic resize, for example, feeds back to the video router which tells it how much bandwidth it needs. Annual subscription model for enterprise use. They are not ASP model.
Visible Measures – The demo was limited to an “interaction graph” which is kind of a slightly less cool-looking version of Vidavee’s heat maps showing rewind data. They also graph cross posts by geography and do IP map mashups.
Voyant – financial planning on-line. Not a bad little application, but not particularly exciting as it is finance. Free sounds good, I didn’t get what the monetization strategy was.
xtranormal – really cool on-line animation system. Seems like a lot of fun.
Yoiks – instant messaging-like interface to web-accessible devices. Have every folder available on the web. Basically file sharing over a “secure” server. Does a lot of translation to make files and devices (like cameras) visible in a fairly generic browser environment.
Youchoose – “active community” widget. Finds “relevant” content and basically cross-posts across all “relevant” conversations on your blog as if you had attracted the chat to your actual blog, rather than displaying the aggregate chat across all posts on similar subjects.
Zodigo – Digital TV advertising/shopping portal.  From the demo, it seems to be a tool to reformat shopping to VGA with cellular extensions.

Posted at 16:55:51 GMT-0700

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